Skunks are usually harmless creatures who know to steer clear of humans; regrettably, pets and other wildlife will occasionally attack or provoke them with unpleasant results. If you want to avoid problems with skunks, some of the best methods for how to eliminate a skunk involve prevention. However, if you already have this monster living somewhere in your yard, eliminating it can be tricky. Before we discuss how to eliminate a skunk, it’s important to be aware that they carry rabies and you should never approach them.
As scavengers, skunks are likely to eat anything they come across; so, should they find food on your premises, they are likely to return or even to make a house for themselves. As such, you need to take a while to ensure that garbage is sealed correctly and that there are no sources of food in your yard. Never leave pet food outside since this will also attract skunks, and probably racoons and other creatures also. Nut, berry, and fruit trees may also attract them, so be sure to walk your lawn and remove any fallen foods. Spills from bird feeders, bones in your compost, and readily accessible sources of water also make your yard more attractive, so get rid of them.
There are also numerous skunk repellents that will stop them from moving into your yard. While it might not be possible to get consistent results, bright lights and automatic sprinklers will usually keep skunks away. Otherwise, commercial and homemade repellents may also be effective. Pepper sprays work well but must be applied frequently to maintain their efficacy. Similarly, commercial repellents that can be sprayed through your yard will provide some protection. In the end, skunk barriers can also be useful from preventing skunks from entering your yard. Skunks can’t climb or jump well, but will fit through openings as small as 4 inches, so barriers must be well constructed.
How to Get Rid of a Skunk
If you are dealing with a skunk that is already living in your yard, it is time to locate its den. It is ideal to do this work at night once the skunk is out foraging so as to avoid being sprayed or bitten by the skunk. You can also wet the skunk den with a hose, as skunks don’t like a moist habitat. Similarly, you can spray the den with pepper spray or a commercial repellent to encourage the skunk to leave. If these less invasive approaches are not effective, you may want to get your hands on some skunk traps. Box skunk traps are small enough that the skunk can’t spray effectively. These traps should be baited with odorous foods such as sardines, tuna, or canned cat food. Once trapped, you should call animal control to collect and get rid of the skunk.